Recently, Embracer Group announced the acquisition of licenses and studio belonging to Square-Enix. An operation which should be unraveled in the next few months and allow the Swedish giant to get its hands on cult series like Deus Ex Where tomb Raider. Enough to place Embracer Group at the forefront of the industry alongside other studios capable of creating AAA games for millions of players.
Take care of historical IPs
At the microphone of Gameindustry, Lars Wingefors, current CEO of Embracer, discussed the group’s ability to offer first-rate experiences and the challenges of such an acquisition. “We will not concentrate all of our content in a single editor. It doesn’t make sense for our operating model” he specifies. A speech that aims both to guarantee a certain creative freedom to all studios and to minimize the risks for the group.
That said, because we have a more diversified business, we are able to take on greater business risk – including AAA game development. We estimate that nothing represents more than 5% of our revenue for the coming year, including a AAA game like Saints Row. That’s why we are more confident in this transaction, because we believe we can make it a reasonable deal.
The licenses obtained in the operation are IPs (intellectual property, editor’s note) video game history. tomb Raider of course, but also Deus Ex Where Legacy of Kain have existed for more than twenty years. And for some, the aura just isn’t as powerful now as it was when they first came out. It must therefore be understood that, despite the expectations of certain players, excessive investments could be unreasonable, without a public ready to buy. Does this mean that these sagas will remain wisely sleeping at the bottom of a drawer?
A certain future for Tomb Raider
This is not Lars Wingefors’ idea of it. The CEO, who is also big with these wonderful universes, wants to take care of them. “We’ll take good care of the people, the IPs, and if we set reasonable expectations, I think we’ll be happy with the financial performance on that as well.” he explains at the microphone of the magazine. He claims to know and see the full potential of his series and thus opens the door to thundering returns. Through ports, remakes or remasters, or more if affinity. But the questions are necessarily related to the cost and the presumed profitability.
Should we do something new? Should we license or work for hire? If the group has really strong AAA IP – and I’m not necessarily talking about Tomb Raider in this case – it makes the job easier. […] You are not required to multiply your investment by 10 over a given period. And you can still work with platform holders, you can do collaborations, you can do some de-risking on funding. Of course, you can also port these iconic IPs to other media and other companies, which will allow you to make additional profits.
A sensible speech, which lays the foundations for reflection on the future of these major licenses. We should certainly not expect fanfare returns from all the sagas on which Embracer has got its hands, but some could once again become center stage. Starting with Tomb Raider whose future could be bright. Evoking Crystal Dynamics, the creators of the 2013 reboot, Lars Wingefors indeed drops this sentence which gives hope for a quick return of the adventurer: “they have incredible plans that I am confident in”. And to let us hope for new remarkable adventures.